RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (April 2, 2017)

Welcome to Radio Active, a weekly report from POP! Goes The Charts that gets to the chart of the matter: all the highlights from the CHR/Top 40 chart, as published by Mediabase 24/7 and Mediabase Research. April Fools’ Day may be done now, but this roadblock in the top 20 on the CHR chart is no joke. Get it together, kids. Meanwhile, it’s time for me to turn onto that golden Top 40 thruway, a lovely drive through pop pastimes and into the bops and bullets of now:

NEVER GONNA LEAVE THIS ED: If you think the beginning of my weekly report is starting to sound like a broken record, well, it is. No, really, Ed Sheeran‘s “Shape Of You” is at #1 for the seventh week on the CHR/Top 40 chart, and it breaks another record. Once again, it accumulates the largest number of spins for a song in a given week: 19,724, besting the total of 19,603 it received three weeks ago. For our viewers at home, this means that the average spin-per-station total for it is just over 108 plays, or just over 15 per day, or your local Top 40 outlet spinning it once every 93 minutes. In short, it’s a monster. Second single “Castle On The Hill” takes a small move upward from 45-43, while “Galway Girl” is losing ground at the few stations that were leading on it. I guess the only thing we’ll be kissing is the radio brand, not the Blarney Stone, at least for now.

However, there is now another competitor looking to take on Mr. Sheeran for that top spot, one who just so happens to share a label with him. Bruno Mars advances from 5-2 this week with “That’s What I Like”, the second single off his 24K Magic album. Sheeran’s hit is too far away for Mars’s single to dethrone it next week, but I expect that it’ll happen later on in the month. Sadly, I’m afraid that we’re unable to ship the English singer/songwriter to Mars at this point, but after his era is over, that might sound like a great idea.

DOING WHAT’S “BEST”: The new hit from Machine Gun Kelly and Hailee Steinfeld has been the second Most Added song at the format for two weeks in a row, and before you start with the whole “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” spiel, it seems like the panel is falling for it, while the two performers are climbing on up. “At My Best” soars from 42-30, giving Kelly his second top 40 hit, while Steinfeld has her fourth. Of course, as much as you readers appreciate me at my best when it comes to chart analysis, you’ll find me at my worst at 4:35 on some idle Sunday, yelling at my browser to refresh with the published update for the umpteenth time. (Yes, I need help. Just kidding. No, maybe I do.)

In Radio & Records history, four songs with “best” in either their main or subtitles hit the best spot on the pop chart, with two sitting at the top for four weeks: “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” (9/25-10/16/81) from Christopher Cross, and “Save The Best For Last” (3/20-4/10/92) by Vanessa Williams. It’s never happened in the Mediabase era, so we’ll see if Kelly and Steinfeld climb towards that goal in the coming weeks.

THREE’S COMPANY: No Chrissy, Jack and Janet here, but I’m sure Aubrey, Dua and Rory would make for an interesting show as well. Much like the upper rungs of the chart, the lower part is also slower this week. However, Drake leads a pack of three debuts on the survey, jumping in at #39 with “Passionfruit”. Counting main-credited, featured and group (I’m looking at you, Young Money‘s “BedRock”) appearances, the Canadian performer has 22 top 40 hits thus far, which also sounds like the number of incarnations that Degrassi‘s gone through over the decades. Of course, his first hit at the format, “Best I Ever Had”, reached a #9 peak in August 2009. “Passionfruit” is the second charting song from More Life; the first, “Fake Love”, not to be confused with “fake news”, drops to #35.

In the top 50, there are two additional new entries this week: “Human” (#45) by Rag’N’Bone Man and “Be The One” (#48) by Dua Lipa. Both are recent hits from Europe, with “Human” dominating the top of the charts in countries like Austria, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, just to name a few. Lipa’s song, a recent top ten single in the United Kingdom, was one of three tracks (two featured appearances) to chart in the top 15 at the same time, a pretty impressive feat for a relative newcomer. How high will they go later this year? Stay tuned, and grab the popcorn already. The suspense is killing me…

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